Archive for May, 2007

What inspires an individual’s creativity in writing and other arts? The answer to this question would vary with each individual as perception shapes what is defined as “inspirational.” Though certain sources of inspiration have a common thread, since they are rooted in our shared human experiences. Life gives us everyday opportunities to experience inspiration , though we need our senses open to receive it.

One of the best sources of inspiration can be found in nature, which can inspire us to great poetic heights as evident in To Autumn by John Keats. Beauty of nature creates an aesthetic feeling that is uplifting and enlivens the senses. My writing partner, Deborah Morrison, wrote a beautiful passage “Beauty of Nature” in our book Nexus: A Neo Novel, which depicts the ecstatic experience of Logan Andrews as he is inspired by the beauty that surrounds him on a hilltop.

I find that stepping into natural landscapes changes my perception, since the contours and lines are rounded and less defined there. In cityscapes, everything is harsh and sharply defined and our sensibilities need to step away from the starkness of the city to be reinvigourated. We can compare the sharp boxed buildings found in many cities to the softness of trees found in nature.

This is why I make time to commune with nature and attune to her rhythms. In Southern Ontario, I also enjoy the seasons change. Deborah’s Sacred Circle is one of my favourite poems on the sense of wonder around seasonal changes. Copies of her first poetry book, Mystical Poetry, are now a rare item. In fact, a few weeks ago a used copy sold for around $200 on Amazon Canada. So someone out there is truly inspired by her poems.

The beauty of nature is inspiring at many levels and as artists we struggle to capture our experience of it. How to describe the intricacies of a snowflake? Or the migration of birds, butterflies, whales and other animals? Or the sunset on a beach? Sometimes we find the words or the image to commit to canvas. At other times the inspiration is there, yet we struggle to communicate the essence of our experience. The pristine experience is rarefied through our artistic endeavours.

We welcome you to share on what you find inspiring about nature. Or your own experiences of nature expressed in your own words or art.


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The majority of working women with depression believe that depression is the number one barrier to women’s success in the workplace, according to an Oct 23, 2003, news release from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Women surveyed reported having various depression-related behaviors that affect their work, including leaving work early, not returning from lunch, avoiding contact with coworkers, and being unable to face work.

Treatment for depression can be beneficial. Of those women surveyed, 94% noticed improvement after seeking treatment for depression, such as psychotherapy or medication. Those surveyed reported that medication produced the greatest benefit; 96% who took medication reported work improvement.

Of those surveyed, only 47% with depression immediately sought treatment. When those who did not seek treatment were asked why, a variety of reasons emerged. These included not knowing where to go for help, work-related time constraints, concern that insurance would not cover the cost, concern that they might lose their jobs, the stigma of depression, or believing that depression is a sign of weakness or a character flaw.

Left untreated, depression can have a substantial effect on women’s work environments. In examining hindrances to achieving professional success, women surveyed rated depression higher than child and elder care responsibilities, pregnancy, and sexual harassment. Of those who lost their jobs while suffering depression, 89% attributed the cause of job toss to depression. Approximately one-third said depression completely interfered with their abilities to do their jobs.

Approximately 19 million American adults suffer from depression each year, including five million working women. Depression interferes with the ability to work, sleep, eat, study, and enjoy activities. Symptoms may be emotional (eg, restlessness) or physical (eg, headache, vague aches and pains).

This survey was sponsored by the American Medical Women’s Association and the National Mental Health Association. It was funded by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Telephone interviews were conducted in April and May 2003 with 751 employed women 18 years of age or older who were suffering from depression.

Surveyed Women With Depression Perceive Condition as a Leading Barrier to Workplace Success (news release, New York: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Oct 23, 2003) Source: http://www.prnewswire.com

COPYRIGHT 2004 Association of Operating Room Nurses, Inc.

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